Sensabaugh gains attention at Combine, vows to keep working

by - Senior Writer -
Sensabaugh wanted to show the NFL he can play on the next level

Former Clemson cornerback Coty SensabaughCoty Sensabaugh
Gr. Defensive Back
#15 6-0, 180
Kingsport, TN

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prepared for the NFL Combine like he has prepared for everything else in his life, which means he went the extra mile in order to try and earn the notice of NFL teams.

Chances are pretty good he earned that notice, posting a solid 40-yard dash time (4.42, good for 4th among defensive backs), and high marks in the long jump and three-cone drill.

He says his effort at the Combine – held last week in Indianapolis – was a result of the work he has put in since the end of Clemson’s season in early January.

Sensabaugh traveled to Delray Beach, Fla., to work out and train at XPE Sports, which is run by a former Clemson student named Tony Villani. Villani has trained some of the best in the business, including former running back Jamal Lewis, former Steelers’ receiver Hines Ward, Giants’ end Osi Umenyoria and linebacker Takeo Spikes.

While at XPE Sports, Sensabaugh also got the chance to train with a wealth of defensive back talent from across the country.

“We had a bunch of defensive backs down here training, and I was working out with some good ones,” Sensabaugh told TigerNet Friday. “We had Jayron Hosley from Virginia Tech, Stephone Gilmore from South Carolina, Casey Hayward from Vanderbilt, Art Evans from Tennessee and Brandon Taylor from LSU.

“And then were some guys here who have been in the league, like Eric Berry, Byron MaxwellByron Maxwell
Defensive Back
#36 6-1, 205
North Charleston, SC

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and Kareem Jackson. I feel we like we definitely helped each other, and complemented each other. I learned something from everybody else and put that into my game. It was a good, it was competitive and everybody got along great.”

Villani and his staff put the group through the exact drills they would be going through at the combine, and Sensabaugh said it made the entire process easier once he arrived in Indianapolis.

“It wasn’t really nerve-wracking at all,” Sensabaugh said. “I came down here to south Florida to train, and I worked as hard I could. Once I got to the combine, I just tried to show everybody how much I have improved. That is all I tried to do.”

Sensabaugh said the process was also made easier because of the goals he had written down before traveling to Indiana.

“I had all of my goals written down, and I was always looking at them,” he said. “My main goal was to show them I wasn’t little and I wasn’t small. I wanted to show them I was strong and fast and could move. I wanted to be the best in every drill, and in every competition I put my all into it.”

Sensabaugh is used to overcoming people’s perceptions of him. During his first three years as a Tiger, Sensabaugh recorded 47 tackles and three interceptions in 557 snaps. Last season, however, he led all Clemson defensive players with 993 snaps and was one of three to start in all 14 games. He was in on 38 tackles and had one interception, turning into a feared shut-down corner.

His 40-yard dash time turned some heads, but he said he still fills like he could have done better.

“For me, I had a routine that I first started when I got to Florida and we started working on the 40’s,” he said. “I went through that routine every single time. Once you get into that routine, it becomes second nature. You just have to block out all of the scouts that are there. I was pleased with my time, and my goal was to be somewhere around there, but I wanted to be the fastest defensive back. I was a little mad about that.”

He said that his favorite part of the combine was the last day, getting to perform in Lucas Oil Stadium in front of all the cameras and the NFL scouts and executives. But he also said that people don’t realize that the last day is just a small part of the total combine experience.

“The combine is a long process,” he said. “It is a four day process, and you have to do the drug tests, and stay in the hospital all day. You are waking up at five and going to bed at midnight. There are psychological tests, just a whole bunch to it. You are always being asked questions. There is just a bunch to it that people don’t get to see.”

He said he is letting his agent handle the talks with NFL teams, and is instead concentrating on continuing to work out and get ready for Clemson’s Pro Day next Thursday.

He also said he has depended on the advice of players who have gone through this process before, including his cousin, defensive back Gerald Sensabaugh of the Dallas Cowboys.

“I am just going to control what I can control,” he said. “Gerald has given me a lot of advice, and everything everyone has told me went down the way they said it would. I went down there probably a little more mentally prepared than a lot of guys – they were overwhelmed. But I was prepared for it.”

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